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Alberta’s Best Workplaces: Best Overall Workplace (Under 100 Employees)

Incite Marketing: for making it fun

May 22, 2014

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Best Overall Workplace (Under 100 Employees)

Incite Marketing
Head office: Edmonton
Co-founders: Ted Kouri and Jared Smith
Number of Alberta employees: 25

incite_story001
Incite is a past winner in the Millennials category and now, just like its employees, has grown up some: to a Best Overall winner
Photograph Ryan Girard

A lot of companies will tell you they treat staff like family, but Incite really does. Last year, the company hosted a “family reunion,” not for the families of its staff – although it has a summer barbecue for them, too – but for past and present employees to connect. The company also hosts numerous team-building events, including game nights, bowling and Iron Chef-style cooking competitions.

These and other traits (like the “Bring Your Parents to Work” day) have made Incite a past winner of Best Workplace for Millennials. But while parents’ day is still a fondly held tradition – or maybe a running joke – Incite’s employees have grown in the 15 years since the company began and many now have kids of their own.

So now, employees can work flexible schedules to accommodate family needs, or work from home if necessary. Need to attend a doctor’s appointment, pick the kids up from school or care for your flu-ridden spouse? Employees aren’t expected to carefully track sick days or request time off, and can take an hour or a day off work without asking a manager.

Co-founder Ted Kouri says the company focuses on building on each employee’s strengths. “We’ve been doing a lot of work on developing a coaching culture,” he says, “which is an environment where people can, regardless of role, provide leadership in the organization and help support one another and build a system of accountability.”

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And while strategic planning at most companies involves management making decisions and telling employees after the fact, at Incite, all the employees participate. Twice every year, the company hosts a retreat where all the employees get together to provide feedback on how things are going. That’s a significant investment (Kouri says the last retreat cost $18,000 in employee time alone), but the results are worth it. “People just have a different attitude about their work,” he says. “When we talk about millennials specifically, I think that sense of empowerment and ownership and buy-in is pretty key. I’d suggest it’s key no matter who you are.”

The Finalists

Fully Managed, Edmonton
The winner last year in this category, Fully Managed has developed an in-house “university” with courses in technology certifications, personal development, business, Lean, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and more.

Lakeland Credit Union, Bonnyville
Also a finalist as Best Workplace for Volunteerism and Community Development, Lakeland will match RRSP contributions up to five per cent of pre-tax salary for new employees. If you’ve been there 20 or more years, it’s up to nine per cent.

Manasc Isaac Architects, Edmonton
In 2013, Manasc’s community involvement included two $15,000 awards (in the form of consulting time from the Manasc team) to organizations with limited means, so they could tackle their dream projects.

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